Civil Rights LGBT Rand Paul

Freedom for Me, Not for Thee

House Republican Robert Pittenger (R-NC) apparently holds a view that is very similar to Rand Paul in that he believes businesses should be allowed to discriminate or ignore federal law as they see fit.

“You need to respect the autonomy of somebody running their business,” he said. “It’s like smoking bans. Do you ban smoking or do people have the right to private property? I think people have the right to private property. In public spaces, absolutely, we can have smoking bans. But we don’t want to micromanage people’s lives and businesses. If you have a business, do you want the government to come in and tell you you need to hire somebody? Why should government be there to impose on the freedoms we enjoy?

Though North Carolina is one of 29 states where bosses can still fire someone for being LGBT or merely perceived as such, Pittenger asserted: “I believe people are already protected.”

As far as loaded questions go, to ask why the government should be allowed to “impose on the freedoms we enjoy” is a step above the competition.

To say that businesses should be allowed to discriminate, and then in the next breath decry big government for imposing on our freedoms, is an amazing contradiction.

The obvious implication is that not everyone deserves or should be allowed to “enjoy” our freedoms. Because if you say that businesses should be free to discrimination, aren’t you imposing on the freedoms of those who are suffer from that discrimination?

Freedom for me, not for thee. Do as I say, not as I do.

I compare this position to Rand Paul’s position because Rand believes the Civil Rights Act was an overreach that unduly prevents private businesses from exercising their rights. And if you make it legal to discriminate against one group of people, you open a legal doorway for others to discriminate against anyone of their choosing. This is why “religious liberty” laws are heresy of the worst sort. They’re open to undefinable interpretation and iteration.

Pettinger opposes the Employee Non-discrimination Act (ENDA) for the same reasons he likely would have opposed the Civil Rights Act. He opposes it for the same reasons Rand Paul does.

I’m sure Pettinger would disagree with that statement, but maybe he should ask himself why anyone would make the comparison.

  • lytav

    Why is he running unopposed?

    • Brutlyhonest

      I’m guessing no one wants to be dragged through the personal abuse of a campaign knowing they will get the shit kicked out of them at the polls. The gerrymandering after 2010 was extra special in NC.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    I think it is very difficult for people to understand, especially people like Rep. Stupid Drunk Selfish Person, that discrimination is harmful; that it causes economic harm to those who are victimized by it.

    It should be noted that one’s ability to understand that discrimination causes economic harm is directly proportional to the likelihood of one’s ever actually being a victim of discrimination.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Why should government be there to impose on the freedoms we enjoy?

    Because, Rep. Stupid Drunk Selfish Person, when you choose to do business in this country, We the People, through Our government, have the right to demand, insist and ensure that you do so lawfully.

  • TimJ

    Eh, he’s running unopposed. Ask if his philosophy extends to religion, he’d likely say no unless it was muzlins…

  • Nefercat

    As soon as a business can operate without using or relying on the police departments, fire departments, roads, bridges, utilities, or other public entities that our tax dollars pay for, they can logically demand the right to deprive others of their rights. Until then, they can STFU.

  • muselet

    After assuring ThinkProgress that he “respects everyone” and “loves people,” Pittenger said he believes companies should have the right to fire or refuse to hire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Either Robert Pittenger has a really odd way of expressing respect and love, or he’s using the extra-special Righty dictionary, which defines those words differently than the rest of the English-speaking world.


    • JMAshby

      This is the same guy who, just last week, said that it’s a tragedy that immigrant children have been killed after being deported but we should do it anyway.

      • muselet

        Yeah, he’s an all-round great guy.


  • Christopher Foxx

    …but maybe he should ask himself why anyone would make the comparison.

    That would require a basic interest in learning and truth.

    And Republicans don’t want to check and consider whether what they know to be true actually is true. It a) takes too much effort and b) makes then run the risk of maybe, just maybe, entertaining the idea that the world isn’t as they actually want to believe it is. Because if it isn’t, then they wouldn’t be allowed to just do what they want.